Nationals

Cowboys refreshed, urgent in return from bye week

Cowboys refreshed, urgent in return from bye week

IRVING, Texas (AP) When the Dallas Cowboys returned to work Monday following their bye week, they had the same number of losses as the two teams ahead of them in the NFC East.

More important than the standings was how the Cowboys (2-2) felt about themselves after an extended break.

``We had a week to recoup, refresh, regroup,'' cornerback Brandon Carr said after their first practice in five days. ``I felt like we were refreshed, guys had a sense of urgency. We just erased the last four weeks out of our memory. ... Guys are just eager to get out there and to have fun, just get out there and mix it up a little bit.''

Asked about the New York Giants and Philadelphia both being 3-2, only a half-game ahead of Dallas, Carr said he didn't even know the records of the other teams in the division.

The Cowboys have enough to think about with their upcoming stretch of four of five games on the road. The first is Sunday at AFC North-leading Baltimore (4-1).

``You know they're going to be physical. They play that way. That's their style,'' defensive lineman Marcus Spears said. ``Obviously they've been playing great ball for a while. But we've got to go up there and handle our business. It's not about them, it's about us.''

After the Ravens, the Cowboys are at Carolina before their only home game in a six-week stretch, against the defending Super Bowl champion Giants. Dallas beat New York on the road in the season opener in its only division game so far.

Then the Cowboys travel to Atlanta (5-0) and Philadelphia.

Two starters in the middle could be back after the bye week. Center Phil Costa and Pro Bowl nose tackle Jay Ratliff both practiced Monday.

Costa was hampered throughout much of training camp by back issues. He returned in time to play the final preseason game, then started the opener and lasted only one series before being sidelined again.

Costa's return comes with Ryan Cook bothered by a hamstring injury. The Cowboys got Cook from Miami in a trade at the end of the preseason, and he had been the center since the second series against the Giants.

Ratliff hasn't played yet this season because of a high ankle sprain.

``Getting Jay back is like getting three guys back. In the nickel packages, in the base packages and then teams actually game plan for Jay Ratliff,'' Spears said. ``It'll give other guys the opportunity to probably make more plays and have more success because he's in the game.''

Linebacker Anthony Spencer also was at practice after missing the Cowboys' 34-18 loss to Chicago because of a strained pectoral.

``It feels good to essentially have all your guys back out there,'' Carr said.

Before practice Monday, the Cowboys added running back Lance Dunbar to their 53-man roster from the practice squad. He ran for 105 yards with a 58-yard touchdown in the preseason finale against Miami.

But the speedy Dunbar, an undrafted rookie from North Texas, will be used primarily on special teams. He could have an immediate impact.

``He's very aggressive and active,'' coach Jason Garrett said. ``So we want to give him a chance to do that. He's also done some returning for us as well. So just wherever he's needed. We'll give him some work in practice at the different spots and see how he responds.''

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Donaldson's 9th-inning single lifts Braves over Nats 4-3 despite Robles' heroics

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Donaldson's 9th-inning single lifts Braves over Nats 4-3 despite Robles' heroics

Donaldson's 9th-inning single lifts Braves over Nats 4-3

ATLANTA -- Josh Donaldson's bases-loaded single off Fernando Rodney in the ninth inning lifted the Atlanta Braves over the Washington Nationals 4-3 on Friday night after Luke Jackson allowed a tying, two-run homer to Victor Robles in the top half.

Ronald Acuna Jr., who had three hits, led off the bottom of the ninth with a walk off Rodney (0-3) and took second on Dansby Swanson's single. Freddie Freeman walked on four pitches, loading the bases.

Nationals manager Dave Martinez brought in left fielder Juan Soto as a fifth infielder, including three on the left side against the right-handed hitting Donaldson.

Donaldson hit a 2-0 pitch over Robles to center-field warning track, and the Braves boosted their NL East lead to 6 games over the second-place Nationals. Atlanta had lost its previous five home games against Washington.

Robles' homer went 446 feet to left, giving Jackson his seventh blown save in 24 chances.

Julio Teheran gave up one hit through five scoreless innings and retired 14 consecutive hitters before pinch-hitter Gerardo Parra singled with one out in the sixth. Anthony Rendon chased Teheran with a two-out RBI single.

Nationals left-hander Patrick Corbin couldn't win on his 30th birthday while paired with catcher Yan Gomes, who turned 32. Corbin and Gomes became only the second pitcher-catcher tandem to start together on their birthdays since 1900, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Chicago Cubs pitcher Dave Hillman and catcher Jim Fanning did it against Pittsburgh on Sept. 14, 1957.

Corbin allowed two runs and eight hits in five innings. He struck out Ozzie Albies with the bases loaded in the first and fanned Albies to end the fifth with two out.

Albies hit a two-out double in the fourth and scored on Austin Riley's double. Freeman was 2 for 20 in his career against Corbin before his RBI single in the fifth.

Acuna's RBI double against Tanner Rainey gave the Braves a 3-1 lead.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Nationals: RHP Max Scherzer, on the 10-day IL since July 10 with an injury originally announced as a mid-back strain, was given a cortisone shot on Tuesday to address inflammation in the bursa sac under his right shoulder blade. Scherzer still has some discomfort and must throw a bullpen session before cleared to pitch in a game. With Scherzer unavailable, RHP Austin Voth is expected to start in Sunday night's series finale.

Braves: RHP Patrick Weigel, who had Tommy John surgery in 2017, was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett to make his major league debut Saturday. RHP Wes Parsons also was recalled from Gwinnett. RHPs Kyle Wright and Touki Toussaint were optioned to Gwinnett.

UP NEXT

Nationals: RHP Anibal Sanchez (5-6, 3.71) is 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA in two starts this season against the Braves, his former team.

Braves: Rookie RHP Mike Soroka (10-1, 2.24) will try to win his sixth straight decision on Saturday night. The 21-year-old right-hander became the youngest pitcher in franchise history to be selected an All-Star.

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A timeline of Tommy Sheppard's moves as interim Wizards GM

A timeline of Tommy Sheppard's moves as interim Wizards GM

The Wizards are naming Tommy Sheppard their permanent GM after he served in the role on an interim basis since April 2. 

Let's take a look back at the moves which earned Sheppard the long-term GM job:

April 2: The Wizards fire GM Ernie Grunfeld. Tommy Sheppard takes over the role on an interim basis. 

June 20: The Wizards select Gonzaga forward Rui Hachimura with the No. 9 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. Later in the evening, Washington acquires Jonathan Simmons and the draft rights to Tennessee forward Admiral Schofield from the Philadelphia 76ers. Simmons was placed on waivers on July 7.

July 5: The Wizards acquire Moritz Wagner, Isaac Bonga, and Jemerrio Jones, and a 2022 second-round draft pick as part of the deal which sent Anthony Davis to the Lakers. 

July 6: The Wizards trade Dwight Howard to the Grizzlies in exchange for C.J. Miles and acquire Davis Bertans from the Spurs in a three-team deal with Brooklyn and San Antonio, sending the draft rights of Aaron White to the Nets. 

July 7: The Wizards re-sign center Thomas Bryant on a three-year deal and trade guard Tomas Satoransky to the Bulls for a 2020 second-round pick.

July 9: The Wizards sign guard Ish Smith to a two-year deal.

July 10: The Wizards sign guard Isaiah Thomas to a one-year deal. 

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